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What Do I Need to Know about Medicare Advantage?

November 6, 2019
David Parker, Esq.
What debts are owed when parents die?
David Parker, White Plains and New City NY Estate Planning Attorney
David Parker, Esq.
David Parker is an attorney who specializes in Estate Planning and Elder Law and has been practicing law for 30 years. Be it Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, or Medicaid Planning, David provides comprehensive and caring counsel for seniors and their families. A large portion of David’s practice is asset protection strategies so that families do not lose their hard earned savings to nursing home care costs. He also handles probate administration for the settlement of estates.
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a private insurance alternative to original Medicare.

Monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are anticipated to decrease by an average of $3.87 to an estimated $23 in 2020. That’s a 14% drop, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS). Roughly one-third of Medicare's 60 million beneficiaries belong to these private insurance plans.

AARP’s recent article, “Medicare Advantage Premiums to Decrease in 2020,” explains that these plans include Medicare Part A. That covers hospital care, hospice, and some nursing home and rehabilitative services. These plans also include Part B, which helps pay for physician visits and other outpatient services, including lab testing, scans and other diagnostic services. Most Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage.

The recently announced premiums represent a nationwide average. Actual monthly charges for Medicare Advantage plans will vary, depending on what the plan covers and where beneficiaries reside. CMS announced that premiums for Part D prescription drug coverage were also trending down by about 13.5% to a projected $30 a month.

Many Medicare Advantage plans also cover some dental, vision and hearing care. Over the past two years, CMS has also added other benefits that will hopefully improve the health of seniors. These services include in-home meals, transportation, adult day care services and improvements to beneficiaries’ homes. That may look like wheelchair ramps and shower grips. However, not all Medicare Advantage plans have these extra benefits.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services projects that about 250 plans in 2020 will offer access to these supplemental services, impacting about 1.2 million enrollees.

Enrollment in MA plans has been steadily climbing. The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services projects that more than 24 million people will be in an MA plan in 2020.

The agency says that 1,200 more Medicare Advantage plans will be available in 2020, than were being sold last year.

Reference: AARP (September 24, 2019) “Medicare Advantage Premiums to Decrease in 2020”


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